Melatonin and How its Used to Treat Dogs

melatonin for dogs

Melatonin for Dogs

Melatonin is a natural neuro hormone commonly used to treat insomnia in dogs. Naturally, the hormone is produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It functions to trigger sleep and relaxation. Should the body fail to secrete enough of it, a dog may lack sleep and even get depressed. In addition to insomnia and anxiety, melatonin for dogs has also been used to treat:

Melatonin is a natural neuro hormone commonly used to treat insomnia in dogs. Naturally, the hormone is produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It functions to trigger sleep and relaxation. Should the body fail to secrete enough of it, a dog may lack sleep and even get depressed. In addition to insomnia and anxiety, melatonin for dogs has also been used to treat:

1. Phobias
2. Alopecia (hair loss)
3. Anorexia
4. May be given to dogs recovering from sickness or surgery to help them regain weight.

melatonin for dogs

 Dosage

The right melatonin dosage to administer depends several variables. The most important determinants are the dog’s size, weight and the conditions being treated. The drug may be administered subcutaneously or orally. Subcutaneous administration is typically a preserve for professional veterinarians. However, pet owners may administer the drug orally by themselves.
When orally administered, you should check your dog’s weight to determine the amount to administer. Generally, dogs weighing below 25lbs are given 3mg melatonin while those above 25lbs are given 6mg. The right dosage for a particular dog may vary depending on several other factors.Due to this, it is always advisable to consult a veterinary doctor before administering the drug to a dog.

Is the Drug Safe for Your Pet

While much of the drugs use is still considered experimental, when administered to dogs it is generally considered safe. Being a naturally occurring hormone, most of the risks involved with the drug’s use are limited to overdose cases. Generally, only a few cases of negative effects have been reported. However, there are a few exceptions where the drug should not be used unless prescribed by a qualified veterinarian. These include:
1. Pregnant dogs
2. Puppies
3. Dogs suffering from seizures, brain disorders, kidney malfunction and liver diseases

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Common Side Effects

While there are few reported acute effects, there are several mild side effects commonly associated with the use of melatonin to treat dogs. These include increased heart beat rates, headaches, confusion, sleepiness and itching and some gastrointestinal discomforts. Subcutaneous administration may also result in sterile abscesses. These are manifested as localized puss filled cavities around the injection area.

Overdose

While mild overdoses are not expected to result in adverse effects, in large amounts the drug may produce serious effects. In addition, susceptible dogs may demonstrate more serious effects than the commonly observed side effects. In cases of mild overdose, the results are generally heightened stomach discomforts and excessive sleepiness. In larger amounts, melatonin could result in more acute effects such as seizures and high blood pressure. Should you observe any of these symptoms or any other abnormal behaviors after a melatonin administration, dog owners are advised to consult a professional veterinarians immediately.

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